Employers disregarding jobless candidates

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Employers disregarding jobless candidates

Hamilton Journal News – There are more than 500,000 unemployed Ohio workers, and they all lack the one qualification that many employers require to even be considered for employment — a job.

A recent study by the National Employment Law Project — a nonprofit organization that studies the labor market and helps the unemployed apply for benefits — found that U.S. employers of all sizes routinely place want-ads explicitly stating they will not consider unemployed workers.

The practice is not illegal because unemployed workers are not considered a protected class like older workers or ethnic minorities.

But denying employment to the unemployed has a disproportionate impact on those groups with the highest unemployment rates and opens the doors to discrimination at a time of cutthroat competition for jobs, the organization said.

Among the unemployed attempting to find work is Gary Waggoner, a 43-year-old from West Chester Twp. He spends his days beating the streets putting in job applications and attending interviews. His nights are spent at Hope House Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter in Middletown.

The mortgage industry crash is what left Waggoner unemployed to begin with. A separation from his wife and alcoholism helped contribute to his homelessness, he said. But what keeps him there a year later now that he’s cleaned up his act is lack of a job.

“The best therapy for me is when I am working,” Waggoner said. “It puts things into perspective.”

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